Friday, November 28, 2014

Apples & Pecans Great for Holiday Baking

    We'll have harvested 'Enterprise' and 'Scarlett O'Hara' apples for sale for the next couple months (until they sell out), and harvested 'GoldRush' apples for sale for the next 6 to 7 months.  'Enterprise' apples are sweet-tart, great for both fresh eating and baking, stay crisp and juicy for 6 to 8 months in a refrigerator, and are a favorite of many customers.  'Scarlett O'Hara' apples are also sweet-tart, with a strong unique flavor that some customers love, and keep well for 3 to 4 months in a refrigerator.  'GoldRush' apples keep well for 8 to 10 months in a refrigerator, and are best after at least 1 month in the fridge, as they get sweeter as the starches convert into sugars.  Fully-ripened 'GoldRush' apples have a taste similar to 'Honeycrisp', and 'GoldRush' is my favorite apple for fresh eating.  They're also wonderful for baking, making applesauce or apple butter, etc.

I used 'GoldRush' apples and 'Kanza' pecans in this Apple Pecan Bread with Dried Tart Cherries.  The recipe is posted as a Note on our Facebook page, Brendas Berries.
   Prices are the same as last year: $1.21 per pound + tax for small amounts of harvested #1 apples (practically perfect) and $0.83 per pound + tax for small amounts of harvested #2 apples (with small cracks or other surface damage).  A box of 20 lbs. of harvested #1 apples costs $23.22 + tax, which saves $1.00.  A box of 20 lbs. of harvested #2 apples, great for economical holiday baking, costs $15.79 + tax, which also saves $1.00.  Buying 40 lb. of harvested apples (2 boxes) saves another $1.00 per box, for a total of $4.00 off the per-pound price.
   Harvested apples are kept in top condition in our cooler, which is now full of 4000 pounds of apples.  We also still have a few bags each of many selections from my apple breeding program.  I give taste samples of all of our apple varieties and selections, to those interested in buying them.
We now have 5-lb. bags of cracked 'Kanza', a larger pecan variety with excellent flavor, pecans for sale. 
   Bill is now very busy harvesting, cleaning and cracking pecans.  We now have 5-lb. bags of cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for $14.86 + tax per bag.  'Kanza' is a larger pecan variety, with excellent flavor.  Our Facebook page, Brendas Berries, has many recipes posted as Notes that feature apples and pecans.
   Our workers and I have been transplanting strawberries on warmer afternoons, and applying mulch to the new strawberry beds that Bill prepared a few weeks ago.  In a few weeks I'll apply mulch on top of the strawberry plants to protect them from winter cold.
Our workers Brandon Ledford (left) and Ben Miller (right) applied mulch to our new strawberry beds this afternoon.  Our apple orchard, in the background, was completely harvested 3 weeks ago, and the trees are now hardening for winter.
   Our fall hours continue for this weekend, until Nov. 30.  During this period, we are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.  I appreciate phone messages a day or so ahead, letting me know when you're coming.  From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so phone 620-597-2450 a day or so ahead and leave a message on the answering machine saying when you're coming.  If you drop by and I don't see you come in, since I'm working elsewhere on the farm, ring the bell on the sales building.  If it's very cold or raining and I'm not in the sales building, phone the number at left (620-597-2450) or come up to the house.